Our annual 2011 NFL Mock Draft, with picks made by each of SB Nation's NFL team bloggers, is in full swing. The latest pick in to the podium: the Dallas Cowboys, at No. 9 overall.
With the ninth overall pick in the 2011 SB Nation NFL Writers Mock Draft, the Dallas Cowboys select Tyron Smith, offensive tackle, USC.
Dave Halprin of BloggingTheBoys.com explains the choice, and our own Dan Kadar reacts to it, after the jump. Make sure you're grading this pick for the Cowboys, and checking out Blogging the Boys for all of your Cowboys needs.
Dave Halprin explains: The Dallas Cowboys have three glaring needs going into the 2011 draft - offensive tackle, defensive end and cornerback/safety. With Patrick Peterson and Prince Amukamara off the board, they'll pass on cornerback/safety. That left OT and DE. The question is which guy do they feel more comfortable with concerning their current starters, Stephen Bowen at DE or Marc Colombo at OT. Given the way Colombo played last year, the concern is greater at OT. Tyron Smith is the pick.
Smith has the framework and athleticism that NFL teams covet, not for just a right tackle, but a possible left tackle in the future. He's a little raw compared to some of the other top tackles in this draft, but has a huge upside. And it's not like he couldn't start at right tackle in his rookie year. But a couple years down the road, after his frame fills out with weight, he could be a tremendous talent.
Dallas could have gone strictly BPA here, where Robert Quinn is the likely guy according to most experts, but the Cowboys are having problems along their line as age and injury are catching up, and their depth has not developed. They need an infusion along the line to keep Tony Romo healthy, and Smith is generally considered the top offensive lineman in the draft. So you mix need in with BPA, and go with Tyron Smith.
Dan Kadar reacts: When the actual draft takes place, it won't be a surprise to see Dallas trade out of this pick. They could move up to take Patrick Peterson or down to get more value for an offensive lineman. If the pick is Smith, it's a good one. It was a surprise when he entered the draft because many considered him to be a top five pick in the 2012 draft. So to get him a year early would be a shrewd move. If Dallas really wants Smith, they may have to do so with the ninth pick because he may be a target for Washington with the 10th pick. [Tyron Smith Scouting Report]
Mocking the Draft's Top 5 Remaining Prospects
|3||Da'Quan Bowers||DE||Clemson||scouting report|
|5||Julio Jones||WR||Alabama||scouting report|
|8||Robert Quinn||DE||North Carolina||scouting report|
|9||Aldon Smith||DE||Missouri||scouting report|
|10||Mark Ingram||RB||Alabama||scouting report|
2011 SB Nation NFL Writers' Mock Draft - RESULTS
|1||1||Carolina Panthers||Blaine Gabbert||QB||Missouri||story|
|2||Denver Broncos||Von Miller||OLB||Texas A&M||story|
|3||Buffalo Bills||Patrick Peterson||CB||LSU||story|
|4||Cincinnati Bengals||A.J. Green||WR||Georgia||story|
|5||Arizona Cardinals||Cam Newton||QB||Auburn||story|
|6||Cleveland Browns||Marcell Dareus||DT||Alabama||story|
|7||San Francisco 49ers||Prince Amukamara||CB||Nebraska||story|
|8||Tennessee Titans||Nick Fairley||DT||Auburn||story|
|9||Dallas Cowboys||Tyron Smith||OT||USC|
|14||St. Louis Rams|
|17||New England Patriots|
|18||San Diego Chargers|
|19||New York Giants|
|20||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|21||Kansas City Chiefs|
|24||New Orleans Saints|
|28||New England Patriots|
|30||New York Jets|
|32||Green Bay Packers|